Taxes what % of GND?

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Main Question or Discussion Point

What percentage of gross national product do we feel government should consume? And conversely what percentage should be left in the control of individuals?

I would say that 10% for the federal level and 10% for the state level and 10% for all other levels would be reasonable. That is 30% total. I think we are now well about 50% total tax.
 
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  • #4
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Reminds me of the Laffer Curve. Both make sense. You squeeze hard enough and people vote with their feet (they leave).
 
  • #5
mheslep
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Total US government (fed and local) spending is currently about about 45% of GDP. As we know some of that is deficit spending, so the revenues are necessarily lower than 45%.

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Looking at the federal spending alone, it apprears Hauser's revenue law may not be far off, at least since he coined it. Here's federal spending alone. Again I don't have revenue alone but if we subtract off the deficits now, add in the surpluses around 99, then it does indeed seem to be approximately true the revenues are around 20% no matter what.

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What percentage of gross national product do we feel government should consume?
As much as needed to provide the social safety net to all citizens, to maintain and improve infrastructure, to provide free universal education up to and including college, and to provide free healthcare to everyone.

Evident gaping holes in the U.S. coverage seem to indicate that the government does not spend enough. However, it's possible that we could end two wars and scale down defense spending, and that would be enough to provide European quality of life to all citizens, without additional spending.

Reminds me of the Laffer Curve. Both make sense. You squeeze hard enough and people vote with their feet (they leave).
People tend to underestimate how high taxes have to be before people start voting with their feet.

The U.S. has the second smallest government in the developed world, ahead of Canada. (And Canada does not have to finance two wars, maintain 150 F-22's, 11 aircraft carriers, and a few thousand ICBM silos.)
 
  • #7
mheslep
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... to provide free universal education up to and including college, and to provide free healthcare to everyone.
Nothing is free.
 

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